Brits hit Ctrl-Alt-Del on IT education

computers in schools
Credit: woodleywonderworks via Flickr

England's ICT, or Information and Communications Technology, student training to be rebooted.

Michael Gove, the education secretary, says the current lessons will be replaced by an "open source" curriculum "in computer science and programming." The new lessons will be created by universities and industry. The goal is to revive the glory days of British technology leadership exemplified by Alan Turing. Teaching students to program, rather than just navigate through menus in Microsoft Office, is the new goal.

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As with every sweeping education reform, headlines get news but the hard work to add new teachers and equipment gets ignored. School administrations work slowly, so no matter the headlines of today, nothing of substance will change by next fall. Budget problems in the UK are as bad or worse as those in the US, and Gove didn't release information about funding increases.


"Children are being forced to learn how to use applications, rather than to make them. They are becoming slaves to the user interface and are totally bored by it" That's a remarkably smart thing for a politician to say about computing education.

simonw on

About time! My son is in year 8 and is bored to tears in his ICT classes.

MM on

Having done an ICT course 2 years ago at my old school, I am so pleased to see this change, even if it has come too late for me.

Elliot Roberts on


Another day, another moan at teachers...

John C on

There is a vast difference between learning to use IT and learning to create IT.

Paul J Weighell on

Kids and teachers themselves have been complaining at least since 2005 when I was exposed to "IT education" in school but that obviously wasn't sufficient reason to take action.

amirhhz on

Sound and fury signifying nothing

The new fancy name is a gimmick and will still include the majority of the current ICT syllabus.

4PetesSake on

How much of a change is this? My son already does Scratch programming at school.

Gemma on

As a Primary Deputy Head at a state school on a shoestring budget, I do hope Mr Gove will be throwing money at all of us to get the cutting edge,

annieprouse on

This is great news. However just think of how hard it is to hire software developers. Now how the hell are schools (with fixed salary caps and a work environment filled with children) going to compete?

rmc on

Will we ever see a day when all high school students can program?

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